Grant Williams’ Future With Celtics Hinges on Major Offseason Decision

Grant Williams, Boston Celtics

Getty Grant Williams of the Boston Celtics and Jaylen Brown celebrate during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers.

In four years with the franchise, power forward Grant Williams has established himself as one of the key contributors on this title-hopeful Boston Celtics squad.

With his shooting abilities coupled with his rather underrated defensive tenacity, now in a contract year, the 24-year-old has put himself in a position to potentially cash in this coming offseason. According to multiple reports, the impending free agent is seeking $20 million per year with his next deal.

However, there is a concern that his fiscal desires could ultimately wind up leading him out of Beantown, and, though some may view the concept of re-signing Grant Williams as a no-brainer, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale deemed the situation as being the “toughest 2023 free-agency decision” that the Boston Celtics will have to make.

“Williams’ numbers don’t leap off the page, his three-point accuracy is down since the All-Star break, and he doesn’t offer enough size or rim protection to spend swathes of time at center. But teams will pony up for an ultra-switchable, 24-year-old frontcourt body—particularly when it comes with proven outside marksmanship and flickers of a floor game.All of us, collectively, must also keep the rising cap top-of-mind. A $20 million salary equates to under 15 percent of next year’s $134 million forecast. That’s not an outlandish share if you believe Williams can soak up more playing time and usage.

“Boston may be more inclined to pinch pennies than outside admirers. It will be over $13 million into next year’s tax while carrying Williams’ $12.9 million cap hold. Paying him more only ups the bill. The Celtics’ tax sheet will skyrocket further if they spend the $7 million mini mid-level exception,” Favale wrote.

Favale would also note that things such as playoff success and the long-term availability of Al Horford (pushing 37) and Robert Williams III (injury prone) will all factor into the Celtics’ thought process when it comes to offseason contract negotiations with the big man, though, ultimately, ended off with a rather daunting message of: “unless the Celtics win a title, his future in Boston likely hinges on the price tag other teams ascribe to him.”

Amid perhaps the best season of his young NBA career, Grant Williams finds himself sporting career highs in several statistical categories. Through 75 games played, the power forward is posting 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists whilst shooting 45.9% from the field and 40.2% from distance.

Celtics Guard Malcolm Brogdon Shouts Out Blake Griffin

Grant Williams isn’t the only Boston Celtics power forward who has been putting forth an impressive campaign in 2022-23, as veteran Blake Griffin has proven to seamlessly fit into the club’s rotation and overall culture.

Following their matchup against the Utah Jazz Friday evening, point guard Malcolm Brogdon shouted out how well the big has meshed with the club in just his first season, and praised him for his work ethic.

“Blake’s been huge,” Brogdon said. “From a perennial All-Star to a guy that comes off the bench for us. He doesn’t know when he’s gonna play or when he’s not. He has the best energy. He’s the best teammate. And then he comes in the game and gives us energy and plays well every night. So you know, he’s been great for us.”

Though no longer the perennial All-Star he once was, Blake Griffin has proven himself to be a quality role player for the Celtics and, through 37 games played, he finds himself averaging 4.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists on 48.4% shooting from the field.

Celtics Urged to Sign Kemba Walker for Playoffs

With the Celtics gearing up for what they hope to be a long and prosperous playoff run, Fastbreak reporter Ben Stinar believes Brad Stevens and company may want to consider making a few low-key roster-bolstering moves by way of the free agency market.

While there may not be any stars available by any means, there are a few former stars that could, in theory, serve as quality reserve options to have as a “break glass in case of emergency” type of talent and, in Stinar’s opinion, veteran point guard Kemba Walker is a player worth considering.

“Walker is not the star he once was, but he has a lot of experience, and there would be no risk in signing him. From 2019-21, the former UConn star played 99 regular season games with the Celtics and averaged 19.9 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per contest. In 2020, he also helped lead the team to the Eastern Conference Finals as their starting point guard. The NBA Playoffs are a lot different than the regular season, and sometimes role players can have a significant impact on winning a series or not. Injuries, foul trouble and slumps are all things that can happen to starting players, so having the right reserves is essential,” Stinar wrote.

Stinar’s biggest reason behind why the Celtics may wish to reunite with Walker is due to the fact that, in his eyes, the point guard depth at Joe Mazzulla’s disposal is a bit lacking though, considering they already have Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, and Payton Pritchard, one could rather easily make an argument that counters this sentiment altogether.

The four-time All-Star and former Celtics franchise guard was last seen suiting up for the Dallas Mavericks earlier this season. He would go on to appear in nine separate games, posting averages of 8.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists before being waived by the franchise on January 6.

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